Financial Emergency: 12 Ways to Raise Cash

Financial Emergency  12 Ways to Raise CashThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Everyone faces a financial emergency at some point: the car breaks down, unexpected medical bills, legal troubles etc.  It can get so dire that rent gets behind or utilities such as water and power are being threatened with disconnection.   Pretty soon, TV or radio commercials singing the virtues of payday loans start to sound tempting.

If you find yourself starting to wonder whether a payday loan may help you in the short run, stop right now.

  • Payday loans have outrageous interest rates.
  • If you fail to make the payment or need to re-borrow, those interest rates are going to be even higher: there have been cases where borrowers end up paying $1100 for a loan that was originally $250, leaving them in a cycle of debt slavery.
  • These loans are designed to keep the borrower in a downward spiral.

What to do if you find yourself with no credit, and need cash quickly

  1. Evaluate why you need the money right away. Sometimes, a bill that is perceived as an emergency may not be as urgent as originally thought.

Utilities such as electricity, water and gas are urgent, but the cable and cell phone bill are not as crucial.

Most utilities also allow you to make payment arrangements if you need to move the payment to align with your paycheck. Be up front with them and explain your circumstances. When the time comes, you must stick to the arrangement to avoid disconnection.

For medical bills, doctors and hospitals are also happy to accept monthly payments.

2. Go through your belongings and find things you can sell.

· Hold a garage sale.. If you live in a building that does not allow garage sales, join forces with a friend who can hold one.
· List your items on Craigslist or Ebay.

3. Return unused items that still have the price tags.

I’ve seen friends’ closets that contain outfits they bought but never wear, and still have the price tag on after several months. Many department stores will accept returns, but be aware they will refund the money if paid in cash, but if paid by credit card they return it to the card. Some stores will only issue a gift card, but this brings me to the next tip.

4. Sell your unused gift cards for cash. You’ll have to sell them at a discount, but you’ll get cash for gift cards you haven’t used.

Try Gift Card Granny http://www.giftcardgranny.com/sell-a-gift-card/

5. Hire out your services on Fiverr

The jobs start at $5 a “gig” but as services get added, the cash could add up. I’ve used them for small jobs, and each time I spent at least $25 and I’m the frugal type. If you act professionally and deliver quality work within the time agreed upon, the jobs could add up.

6. Get a part-time job or create a side job: Start a pet sitting or dog-walking service, tutor kids after school, teach a skill or sport.

7. Collect and sell aluminum cans and other recyclables.

8. Pawn or sell valuables at a pawn shop.

9. Sell your handmade crafts on Etsy, swap meet or craft fairs.

10. Make money during your down time on Amazon Mechanical Turk https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

11.  Rent out your car to someone else.  Most cities have peer to peer car sharing services such as Relay Rides  I haven’t personally tried this, but have read some car owners can make an average of $250 depending on the schedule.  Make sure you investigate thoroughly as to how it works, and what your protections are.

12.  Try borrowing from a peer to peer lender.  Peer to peer loans are unsecured personal loans from other people, facilitated by a lending intermediary that may charge a one-time fee.  Again, investigate all aspects and read the fine print before getting into anything.

If you are in a cash crunch, try one or a combination of the above tips.  Pretty soon, you’ll have the cash you need to get by.  Keep your spirits up, and never lose faith that “this too, shall pass.”

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

 

Monday Musings 8/18/2014 – Tell Me What you Think!

Monday Musings 8172014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.

First the blog updates…

This week I am supplementing my hygiene supplies:  picked up a couple of bottles of bleach from the one of the dollar stores, and added a few extra packs of toilet paper, and garbage bags that were on sale at the market.  Unfortunately garbage bags from the dollar stores fall apart too quickly and at the worst possible moment… trust me-I know.

There’s still a chance to win Countdown to Preparedness   The drawing is on Friday,  August 22 at 8 pm Central.  Please visit the link here.

What would you like to see in our posts?

I’d like to see what’s working and what’s not for our readers.  I can tell somewhat from the daily blog traffic and comments what articles are popular, but I’d like to do a better job for y’all.  Would you mind taking a quick survey to let me know?  I promise it won’t take too much of your time.

Survey Link

Don’t worry, I won’t take it personally.   Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Now for the links…

Ebola outbreak vastly underestimated, WHO says

Hospitals in the U.S. Get Ready for Ebola

Warning: The Coming Pandemic and How You can Prepare Yourself

Job = Just Over Broke

It’s Time for a Prepper Reality Check

Add Photos to Your 72 Hour Kit: 10 min Preparedness Project

The SAD Way of Preparedness Websites – Possibly An Analogy of the Preparedness Life!

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Vote for Me at Top Prepper Websites

How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

If you live in a large city, the risk of a riot is always present.  Riots can be triggered by many reasons, from rowdy festival goers, the aftermath of a big game, , dissatisfaction with a verdict or official actions, and many others.   Even people who are lawfully congregating or holding a peaceful protest can unintentionally be swept up in a riot.

How do you prepare for a riot?

There is no telling when a riot can happen.  Because of the unpredictability, it is not one of the risks that people really think about when preparing for a disaster.  But there may be ways to avoid getting yourself or your family hurt if one erupts in your vicinity.

Mental preparedness

  • Consider the possibility.  Never think for a minute that this won’t happen to you.  If you live in a city, it can happen.
  • Stay calm.  If you start seeing things escalate in a crowd, resist the urge to panic.

Always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Don’t be one of those people who are tethered to their phone and never look up.
  • Listen to the news and know what’s going on before you venture out.
  • Scope things out, even when things look normal.
  • Know all the exits wherever you are.

Avoid the area

  • Don’t be a lookie-loo.  A lot of people get curious about what’s going on, and instead of avoiding the area, they will be tempted to go check it out, drawing them closer to the line of fire.
  • Resist the urge to take pictures.
  • As soon as you become aware of something developing, start moving in a calm, orderly fashion.  You would not want to stumble and get trampled
  • Move in the same general direction of the flow of traffic, until you can veer off to a safer area.  Moving against traffic will be much harder, attract attention, or make you a target.

 Don’t attract attention

  • Keep your head down
  • Do not get involved.  You may agree with one side or other, but if you are trying to keep yourself or your family safe, now is not the time to get caught up.

Stay close to your companions

  • Kids can easily get separated from their parents in a riot.  If you have kids with you, keep a tight grip on them.  You may have to carry the smallest one.  In shopping malls, have seen parents doing a fast walk with kids struggling to keep up behind them.
  • If you are with others, try to stay close or within earshot of each other.

Items to have on hand

  • Have cash and change at all times so you can arrange for transportation if you can’t drive or get to your car.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car or in your office.
  • Many stores shut down if they are in the middle of an afflicted area.  Have a week to two weeks worth of food and water in your home, same as preparing for any disaster.

If you are driving

  • Know alternate routes home – it would best to avoid main roads and instead take side streets.
  • Lock your windows and doors.
  • Watch out for pedestrians – there may be a lot of people milling around or trying to stop traffic.
  • Always keeps your gas tank at least half full – you don’t want to have to stop for gas at the worst possible moment.
  • Have extra food and water in the car, along with a survival kit.
  • Leave as soon as you can or you may get caught in a traffic nightmare.

Sometimes, trouble can erupt around you.  The key to staying safe is being mentally prepared, and knowing what to do.

Stay safe!

 

 

 

“If the Ebola Threat were to Escalate, Isolation would be Key” — Jim Cobb, Author of Countdown to Preparedness

Countdown to Preparedness

Today we are featuring Jim Cobb’s latest book, Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

I had the opportunity to read Countdown to Preparedness and found lots of helpful advice.  It breaks down the idea of preparing for both short term disasters into manageable steps that can be done in 52 weeks.  Of course you can take shortcuts if you are able to or stretch out the time period according to your finances and time constraints.  I appreciate the budget minded approach, as many families are daunted by large expenses.

Jim Cobb’s books have been featured on Apartment Prepper previously and we are pleased to have this encore interview.

1.  Given the fears about the ebola virus, what is your current state of alertness (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest level) regarding this issue and why?

As it stands right now, I’d say I’m at a 2.5 or so.  Ebola is on my radar,
but I’m not really losing any sleep over the threat just yet.

2.  If the threat of ebola were to escalate, what is the best approach for a city dweller?

Isolation would be key.  If someone in an urban area were able to quickly
and safely get into a less populated area, that would be ideal.  If that’s
not a viable option, be prepared to hunker down and wait it out, which
could take weeks or even months.

3.  Residents and tourists in Hawaii breathed a sigh of relief as the two hurricanes threatening the islands passed without incident.  Many readers are confused about being prepared while flying to a destination, either for business or personal.   What is the best way to be prepared while on vacation or traveling for business?

When possible, I much prefer to drive to my destination, given that I can
obviously carry more gear with me.  Flying is problematic when it comes to
survival equipment.

It might be seen as being “overly prepared” but what I’ve been doing is
shipping a small box to my hotel ahead of my arrival.  Said box contains a
small amount of survival gear — food, water filter, first aid kit, knife,
etc.  Not a ton of stuff, but enough to give me a leg up if I were to need
to evacuate without having access to my regular kits.

Now for the Giveaway:

Please answer the following questions for a chance to win a copy of Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

Are you prepared for emergencies when traveling?  What steps do you take to be prepared?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  August 22 at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

Check out these deals:

Free shipping from Spark Naturals

 



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Foot Care and Survival

Foot Care and SurvivalThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Foot care is not the first thing you think about when you think about survival needs.  Of course the top survival needs are air, water, shelter and food but procuring most of those require mobility, and thus the use of your feet.

Not long ago we camped at a “primitive” site, with primitive defined as not having easy access to water.  The nearest water source, a hand pump, was about two miles down the hill, so you had to trek down to get your water for washing and drinking.   Except for hiking trips, this was the first time we were not within close proximity to a water source.

Water can get really heavy if you carry a gallon or two, and it becomes even more difficult when you are doing it in 95 degrees heat.  What seemed like a short hike at first, felt like an eternity.  This is where the foot care comes in.   I wore wool socks with my hiking boots but decided against wearing the liners thinking it would become too warm.  But the heat and chaffing caused huge blisters to form and they made walking difficult.

The experience made me think how hard it would be if this were a permanent situation.  We all rely on water coming out of the tap, but what if that water system no longer works.   We’d be forced to find water and start having to carry water back to the home.  Or, if we had to forage for food, we’d be relying on our feet to get us anywhere.   Or if you have to run from zombies.  Having blisters, ingrown toenails or other foot ailments would make survival even more difficult.

Here are a few tips:

1.  Trim toenails on a regular basis.  Cut straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.

2.  If you do get an ingrown toenail take care of it right away – see a doctor if needed.  People tend to ignore these problems, but if an emergency were to happen, you may regret you didn’t take care of it.  If you are diabetic, then all the more reason to care for your feet.  Diabetics and individuals with circulation problems need special care as everyday foot problems can become serious.

3.  Wear comfortable shoes that fit well.  Choose shoes that have enough room around the toe area, with soles that have good traction.  The only way to make sure is to use the shoes to “break them in.”  We tested footwear a while back that turned out well.

5.  As soon as you start feeling “hot spots” tape up the area with Micropore or moleskin.

6.  Wear appropriate socks that keep your feet dry and wick moisture away from you.  I like wool socks for this reason.  Keep extra pairs with you on long hikes, in case your feet get wet.  If the seams bother you, turn them inside out.  Wearing sock liners help avoid blisters as well, but everyone is different, you would have to try it out.  Take care that your choice of socks does not make your feet overheat, since that will cause blisters as well.

7.  Let your feet dry out if they get wet or sweaty inside your shoes.

8.  To soften and freshen feet, the homemade moisturizing salve works wonders.  If you prefer to buy it, this one works very well.

9.  Keep and extra pair of comfortable shoes at the office or in the trunk of your car in case of an emergency and you have to walk home.

In a survival or disaster situation, we would rely on our feet so much more than we do in our everyday “normal” life.  Give them some attention now and avoid problems later.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

 

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Monday Musings 8/11/2014

Monday Musings 8112014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.

First the blog updates…

The Blog Makeover  The blog changes are still a work in progress, as I work on a few more pages to make it easier for reader to find articles.

Giveaways  We had the drawing for The Prepper’s BluePrint and reader Sarah won the giveaway.

We will have another giveaway this week, so please check back and enter.

 

Now for the links…

Disease-Scare Burnout? 4 Action Tips to Help Prevent Almost Any Infection

Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords

3 Surprising Things that Spy on You that You Can’t Stop

No Spending Challenge – Shop Out of the Pantry and Freezer Month

Two Is One and One Is None: How Redundancies Increase Your Antifragility

Have You Read The Label? Make Your Own (Healthier) Salad Dressing

Fermentation is the New Canning

How To Make An Altoids Candle Stove

 

Take care have a great week everyone!

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

Start Now for Fall Onions

 

onion field

Onions are a great crop for your home vegetable garden. You have plenty of choices, and they are very easy to grow directly from seed. Onions are also an excellent candidate to grow in containers, as some varieties such as the bunching types, take up very little space.

It’s now August, and most onion varieties need a minimum of 60 days to mature. That will take you to the end of September, beginning of October. In some areas, that may be past the frost date. That is ok. Throw a cold frame over your onions, some row covers or a garden cloche and you will be able to protect your onions. Some varieties may not even need that.

PLANTING DEPTH
I always describe onion seeds as “miniature pieces of coal.” At least that is what onion seeds look like to me anyway. With that said, they are a decent sized seed, needing only to be planted at about a ½” deep. If you are using containers with a peat based mix, you can go a bit deeper. That type of soil is very loose and friable and will not present any germination issues.

SEED SPACING
When direct sowing your seeds into your garden, which is what you can do right now, the spacing will depend on the variety. If you are planting a bunching variety, 2” to 4” is all you need. If you are going with a variety that will grow a bit larger, such as a red burgundy or yellow Spanish, I recommend 6” to 8”.

GERMINATION
Under optimal conditions, perfect weather, excellent soil, and so on, I have experienced onion seeds germinating in as little as 5 days. That is not the norm though. Ten to fifteen days to germination is more likely and more common. Mix in plenty of compost and hydrate your seeds first to help increase germination rates.

onions_growing_in_containerDAYS TO MATURITY
As noted earlier your onions will need 60 days. That does not mean, if you harvest on day 59, they are inedible, it simply means, to reach full growth, 60 is the average optimal time frame. You may need more time, or you may, with good soil and fertilization, get your onions sooner.

LOCATION
When picking a spot to grow your onions, choose a location that receives full sun. Onions can grow in partially shaded areas; however you are up against the Mother Nature clock here. Full sun will do wonders for growing onions if you have the space available to accommodate.

DRAINAGE
Onions are a root crop, so good drainage is very important. Too much water sitting around the roots can cause your onions to rot. If your soil is too dense i.e. has too much clay etc., mix in some peat to loosen it up, or add in loads of compost. This will help water drain away much better without leaving the soil area too dry.

CARE
As with any of your vegetable plants, keep the weeds away so your onions are not in competition for the soil’s nutrients. Weeds normally win. Be sure to feed weekly with a good fertilizer, or add in compost around the base of your plants. A light daily watering is all you need.

I don’t have to go through all of the culinary uses for onions as they are used in a lot of various recipes. Just know that not only do they add flavor to your favorites dishes, they contain calcium, iron and a good amount of vitamins, A, B1, B2 and C.

About the Author

mypic

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

Duct Tape 911 Book Review

Duct Tape 911

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I had an opportunity to read Duct Tape 911 written by Dr. James Hubbard, The Survival Doctor.

I knew duct tape is really used for fixing things, but I never really considered it’s uses for medical issues.  Reading the book has changed my mind.  There are a number of uses, including:

  • ankle brace, wrist splint or arm sling
  • wound closure
  • remove cactus spines
  • wart removal
  • remove a ring from a swollen finger

… and a lot more.

Each section is illustrated with drawing that make it easy to understand what is being described.

As typical for Dr. Hubbard’s style, the book is written in simple conversational terms, and you won’t find any complicated medical jargon.  This book would make a great gift for friends or relatives you hope would get prepared – it is fun and makes a great conversation starter.   In short, it is a book that everyone can use, and should be kept in your first aid kit, along with a few rolls of duct tape

 

Check out Dr Hubbard’s other books:

Living Ready Pocket Manual

The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds

The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Official Response to: “Does Berkey Water Filter Work On Toledo, OH Algae Bloom?”

Does Big Berkey Work on Toledo OH algae bloomI wanted to pass this info along, as a lot of people are wondering and doing searches on whether the Black Berkey Water Filters would work on the algae bloom in Toledo, OH.

I sent an email to Jeff, The Berkey Guy and he has posted the response on his site:

Official Berkey Response to Toledo Ohio Algae Bloom

 

We use the Black Berkey Water Filter in our own household and it has held up this trust over the years.  See my previous article about the Berkey.  As always, being prepared always helps!

 

When There is No Coffee

When There is No Coffee

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve had a splitting headache since this morning.  I’ve tried natural cures, then taken Excedrin for Migraine, then later Aleve, but nothing has helped.  I was thinking “Why do I have this headache?,” then I realized I got busy and didn’t get my coffee this morning.  I always have two cups.  Now I am paying for my oversight.

This got me thinking, if there is a disaster and we can’t get our morning coffee, there would be a huge number of sufferers like me.  Mr Apt Prepper keeps telling me it’s time to wean myself off, but I am not ready.  What are our options?

1.  Stock up on coffee (and the water to brew it!)

Green coffee beans

Green coffee beans last much longer than roasted ground coffee.  My favorite is Kona coffee.  I keep a small amount with my food storage.  One of the first things I learned was how to brew coffee off grid.

Instant coffee

When I go camping or backpacking I bring the little instant Starbucks packets as they are lightweight and flavorful.  I have even tested the expired ones, and they turned out fine.  I have a about a week’s worth.

Don’t forget to stock up extra water to brew your coffee.  As we are learning from the recent water emergencies such as the one in Toledo Ohio, threats to tap water can occur at any time.  Make sure you stock up on water.

Tip:  Make your supplies last longer by using less and avoiding waste.  Some ideas:  Make iced coffee from the previous day’s old coffee.  You can also freeze leftover coffee or iced coffee and use to cool your next batch.  You can also stretch coffee grounds by reusing them the next day and using a quarter less grounds for the next day’s brew.

2.  Stock up on other caffeine sources

Tea

Like Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek The Next Generation, I prefer Earl Grey, and keep a box just in case.  I also have some Chai and black teas as backup.

Colas and other sodas with caffeine

I am not much of a soda drinker, but Coke, Barq’s Root Beer and Mountain Dew are examples of sodas that contain caffeine.  They may be an alternative for some.

Energy drinks

Red Bull and other energy drinks also contain caffeine.  But you have to watch your intake, as some have additional additives that cause rapid heartbeat or high blood pressure.

No Doze

Pills would not be my choice, but for long drives and having to stay up all night, they may be necessary to stay awake.

3.  Herbs or energizing herb teas

Certain herbal supplements and teas are known to boost energy such as ginseng, yerba mate, ashwagandha.  (When taking herb teas or supplements, be aware of both benefits and/or side effects.)

I have tried alternatives such as dandelion tea, which has a lot of health benefits, but I have not found one that is as satisfying as my morning coffee.  Flowers like hibiscus can be made into teas as well- see hibiscus tea recipe here.  Of course if it were grid down SHTF type situation, I am sure I’d be grateful for anything, even pine needle tea which I have brewed as well.

4.  Slowly give up the coffee habit

A co-worker of mine who used to drink two cups of coffee daily like me slowly got himself off.  He switched gradually to one cup of coffee a day for a couple of weeks, then switched to tea.  In another week or two he switched to herb teas and no longer craves the caffeine fix.

I’ve actually cut down from my previous four cups to two cups, but that’s as far as I got.

My excuse is, I don’t smoke, drink or shop for recreation, so I allow myself this one indulgence.  I just have to make sure I make it a point to keep adding to my emergency stash.  Even if nothing happens, I know it won’t be wasted.

 © Apartment Prepper 2014